Mediapro-AV AV receivers Reviews Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 Review

It’s been a while since Pioneer made a long-awaited comeback by unveiling its Elite line of high-end devices. One of these is the VSX-LX305 receiver, which packs a premium feature set tailored for discerning home entertainment enthusiasts. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but still, I can’t say it’s really something “high-end” and innovative. Yes, it’s good, but it won’t suit everyone. Now, let’s take a closer look at what this device is in my Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 review.


Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 features

Despite its slender form factor, the receiver has a sturdy internal frame, giving it some heft. The anti-resonant steel interior and thick aluminum front panel resemble the solid construction. The rear input/output panel is neatly arranged, with enough space between ports for easy plugging. An LCD display flanked by buttons allows quick access to settings and inputs. However, the small plastic buttons feel flimsy for an “Elite” branded product. Some slightly textured metal buttons would inspire more confidence.

Features and specs

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 specifications

The Pioneer AV receiver offers flexible home theater configurations, including 5.1.4, 7.1.2, and 9.2 channel setups. With 100 watts of power per channel (8 Ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.08% THD), it provides more than enough power for impactful sound. However, I was unable to find a way to set individual crossover points for each speaker as I could do with the other receivers.

The unit features extensive HDMI connectivity for the latest video formats. It includes 6 HDMI 2.1 inputs and 2 HDMI 2.0 outputs, supporting 8K/60Hz video, HDR10/Dolby Vision high dynamic range, and Hybrid Log-Gamma for optimal broadcast content quality. However, video switching has a bit of time delay, which is noticeable when doing HDR. The device can upscale lower-resolution video signals to 4K and 8K over its HDMI inputs. It also supports key gaming features like ALLM, VRR, and QFT. For multi-room configurations, the receiver provides a dedicated HDMI output for Zone 2.

Of course, VSX-LX305 enables wireless music streaming through built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. It supports major streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Tidal, and Deezer to access expansive music libraries. AirPlay 2 and Chromecast are also built-in, allowing you to stream content from compatible smart devices easily. Note that for Sonos system integration, a Sonos port purchase is required.

Additionally, DTS Play-Fi allows music transmission both to the receiver and other Play-Fi-enabled speakers in your home for whole-home multi-room audio.

A highlight of Elite VSX-LX305 specifications is its support for immersive surround sound. It decodes leading 3D audio technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as older formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. To create a more enveloping listening experience without installing in-ceiling speakers, it also features Dolby Height Virtualizer and DTS Virtual:X processing. Even without the complexity of added height channels, it provides a multi-dimensional sound that I will talk about in the next chapter.

VSX-LX305 incorporates room correction technology such as the Advanced MCACC system and Dirac Live calibration. Having both options is a major plus. For basic room adjustment with less complex home theater setups, Advanced MCACC may be all that’s needed. But audiophiles would choose Dirac Live. However, in my case with this model, I’ve experienced that Dirac Live sets the center channel as large, but it definitely isn’t a full-range speaker. In my opinion, this problem is due to glitches with the Pioneer application using DIRAC.

Listening experience

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 sound

Let me start by saying that when I watched the movie “Jungle Cruise” on TV (as a test), the sound effects were great. I also watched some cartoons with my young son, and he was thrilled. I don’t know if it was the cartoon itself or the receiver that impressed him, but he was definitely satisfied.

As for the height speakers, Pioneer lacks height sound, and it is all up to the sound engineers when movies and soundtracks are mixed. Sometimes, when mixed, they don’t have much or anything going on in these height channels.

Speaking about its tone, when I used the Pure Direct mode, it was supposed to give no interference from any filters or equalizers; VSX-LX305 doesn’t sound as good as I wish in this mode. It takes some work to get the sound dialed into something acceptable. The sound quality for regular music is okay, but for me, it sounds a bit dull and hollow with its natural sound.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm, 225W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 6/2.
  • Video functions: 8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz, 4K/60Hz pass-through, video upconversion (up to 1080p and 8K) for analog and HDMI sources.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn.
  • Supports: HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS HD Master, DTS Neural:X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.

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